Finance Monthly - August 2022

Consider, for instance, the launch of Revolut’s new card reader for shops, or the fact that Klarna has introduced a physical ‘buy now, pay later’ card for customers to use in-store. Finance businesses have cottoned on to the fact that it was only ever ease and efficiency that had consumers step away from stores and queues in the first place, and new finance solutions could very well alleviate all that. For that reason, Jat Sahi’s advice to retailers is to look beyond the traditional chip & pin or contactless experience. Instead, look to provide technology that is revolutionising the sector and is both beneficial to customers and in-store revenue. After all, shoppers are increasingly asking “why should I shop in-store when I can shop online?” Jat believes pointof-sale technology (POS) is the answer. Remove pain-points and increase satisfaction Now, it’s vital that all brick-andmortar retailers rival the experience customers receive online. This means removing all pain points associated with in-store shopping, such as long queues to complete a transaction – particularly as research from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) found that 79% of customers won’t wait longer than five minutes to pay. Therefore, to avoid basket abandonment, retailers need to provide point-of-sale (POS) technology (the time and place where a retail transaction is completed e.g., through a handheld device on the shop floor) to customers so they can pay for their goods quickly and efficiently. Indeed, we have seen supermarkets roll out this technology, but it’s time for apparel and homeware stores to catch up. Offering this technology will allow them to compete with eCommerce pure players as it mirrors the virtual checkout experience, and it will also give them a competitive edge as there are no costs associated with shipping or returns. Within the retail industry, there is a feeling that customers are increasingly loyal to service, not brands and implementing POS technology certainly plays into that. But, on the other side of the coin, POS can also decrease overheads and increase internal operational efficiency. The benefit for retailers Stores with high volumes of transactions are an ideal fit for self-checkout technology. The ability for consumers to check out independently through their iPhone or smartphone can increase the number of transactions and create an uptick in sales. What’s more, self-checkout also removes the footprint associated with traditional tills, allowing further room for stock. Elsewhere, these new digital processes mean that employees aren’t ladened with manual transactions and they can spend their time focusing on what truly matters - the customer. Customers are drawn to in-store shopping for the tactile experience and human interaction - this technology allows employees to elevate this experience and increase customer loyalty. A balanced approach But, despite around four in five (80%) shoppers calling for retailers to invest in technology to help avoid queues and all the associated benefits with automation, a soft rollout is advised. Simply removing all manned tills can lead to the feeling that people are being replaced by machines, which is problematic as this lack of F i nanc i a l Innov a t i on & F i nTech 48 Finance Monthly.

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